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Important Facts for Arthritis and activity limitation


Utah adults 18 years of age and older with doctor-diagnosed arthritis who report limiting any activities because of their arthritis.


Respondents who answered "Yes" to the following Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System question were included in the numerator: "Are you now limited in any way in any activities because of arthritis or joint symptoms?" Responses of "Don't know/Not sure", "Refused", and those with "Missing" responses were excluded.


Number of respondents who reported being told by a healthcare professional they had some form of arthritis. Responses of "Don't know/Not sure" or "Refused", and those with "Missing" responses were excluded.

Why Is This Important?

Arthritis is a common and disabling chronic disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of adults limited by arthritis has significantly increased in the past two decades. Daily activities, such as holding a cup or walking upstairs, are limited for 24 million adults due to their arthritis.[ 1] Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions are leading causes of work disability.[ 2] Adults with arthritis are less likely to be working than those without arthritis. Monitoring the prevalence of arthritis-attributable activity limitation among adults is important for estimating the need for intervention programs to reduce the disabling effects of arthritis, and to estimate how well existing intervention programs are working. These programs include self-management education programs and physical activity programs that have been shown to reduce pain and costs as well as improve physical function, mental health, and quality of life. Arthritis-attributable activity limitation can be prevented or reduced in many persons. For example, aerobic and strengthening exercises can improve physical function and self-reported disability among older adults with disabilities. In addition, for persons with arthritis who are not limited in activity, regular physical activity can reduce the risk for functional activity limitation. Arthritis self-management education classes can also reduce pain and disability.

Healthy People Objective AOCBC-2:

Reduce the proportion of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis who experience a limitation in activity due to arthritis or joint symptoms
U.S. Target: 35.5 percent
State Target: 37.0 percent

Other Objectives

Healthy People 2030 Objective A-04: Increase the proportion of adults with provider-diagnosed arthritis who receive health care provider counseling for physical activity or exercise. [[br]] '''U.S. Target:''' 68.8 percent

How Are We Doing?

The 2021 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey revealed that half (42.4 percent) of Utah adults with arthritis (crude rate) are limited in their usual activities due to their arthritis. Males have slightly lower rates of activity limitation due to their arthritis (36.9 percent) compared to females (46.4 percent). Despite the known benefits of exercise for persons with arthritis, in 2019, almost half (45.1 percent) of Utah adults with arthritis reported they did not meet the recommended requirements for aerobic physical activity. In 2021, 19.5 percent of Utah adults with arthritis reported that they did not participate in exercise or physical activity in the past month (i.e. were physically inactive).

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

In 2021, the age-adjusted rate of activity limitation due to arthritis was 46.0 percent in Utah, which was slightly worse than the U.S. rate of 44.0 percent. Because age affects the likelihood of having arthritis, it is beneficial to adjust for the effect of age when comparing populations. This method helps to determine if a certain population has a factor, which contributes to arthritis more than the effect of age. Therefore, these data were adjusted to the U.S. 2000 standard population.

What Is Being Done?

The Healthy Aging Program focuses on measuring the occurrence of arthritis in Utah, increasing arthritis awareness and educational opportunities, and promoting participation in programs proven to help persons with arthritis, pain, and other chronic conditions. Additionally, the Healthy Aging Program supports health systems, clinics, and physicians using strategies and resources that support healthcare provider-patient counseling to increase physical activity and referrals to evidence-based workshops and classes. Physicians can use the [ Living Well physician portal] to refer patients to the evidence-based classes.

Evidence-based Practices

The Healthy Aging Program (HAP) partners with healthcare, nonprofit, and government organizations across Utah to deliver evidence-based workshops to help people better manage arthritis, pain, and other chronic conditions. Schedules and locations of these workshops can be found at []. The HAP recommends and supports the *Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs, EnhanceFitness, Walk With Ease, Living Well with a Disability, Tai Chi, and the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program which have been proven to improve the quality of life for people with arthritis and other chronic conditions. *Chronic Disease Self-Management programs include:[[br]] - Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) as known as Living Well with Chronic Conditions[[br]] - Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) also known as Living Well with Diabetes[[br]] - Chronic Pain Self-Management Program (CPSMP) also known as Living Well with Chronic Pain[[br]] - Tomando Control de su Salud (Spanish CDSMP)[[br]] - Better Choices Better Health (online CDSMP)[[br]] [[br]] For additional information on these programs visit [] or [].

Health Program Information

The vision of the Healthy Aging Program is to increase self-management skills and improve the quality of life for all Utahns affected by arthritis and other chronic conditions. The Healthy Aging Program provides technical assistance and coordination to increase awareness, expand reach, and achieve sustainability of evidence-based self-management programs for all Utahns affected by arthritis and other chronic conditions through statewide partnerships. Contact for questions about providing, referring, or increasing physician counseling for patients into the evidence-based programs.
The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health and Human Services IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 21 July 2024 23:47:34 from Utah Department of Health and Human Services, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Wed, 26 Jun 2024 10:27:17 MDT